The Australian Cattle Dog breed began evolving in the early 1830s through the need for a dog that could work cattle in Australia's harsh environment. The breed today is the result of many years of selective breeding. Five breeds of dog have gone into ‘the making’ of the Australian Cattle Dog.
First there was the crossing of the dingo with an English breed of dog, the Smithfield, and the progeny from these were crossed with the smooth-coated Blue Merle Collie (commonly referred to today as the German Coolie). These were then mated to the Dalmatian to put the love of horses and the protection of their master's property into the breed.
This Aussie battler will often live up to 15 years of age but with the right care and diet can live to 20 years of age.
This breed in top condition should see the female weighing up to 23kg and up to 43cm in height; the male should weigh up to 27kg and be up to 51cm tall.
of a handful.Breed personality, characteristics & temperament
Australian Cattle Dogs are loyal, courageous and devoted and possess a natural aptitude in the working and control of cattle. They are suspicious of strangers and will protect the family and possessions with their life. They are not naturally aggressive, but if provoked they will not back down without a fight.
Compatibility with other pets
The Australian Cattle Dog will get along with other animals in a household as long as they are introduced slowly and without tension. The best way to do this is by allowing the animals to see and smell each other through a wire fence for a few weeks until they realise they pose no threat to each other.
Even though the Australian Cattle Dog is a working dog, it does well in a suburban household as long as its exercise requirements (this includes mental stimulation) are met. Obedience training of Australian Cattle Dogs is a must, as their brain needs stimulation of the right sort so that they don’t think things up for themselves – such as digging, pulling washing from the clothes-line, pruning trees, landscaping, and jumping fences.
The ideal owner for the Australian Cattle Dog should be someone who likes to have an active dog. While the Australian Cattle Dog absolutely adores children, similar to all breeds of dog it should never be left alone with them unsupervised. Elderly people might find that the Australian Cattle Dog is a bit.
Click here for advice on adopting a rescue dog and finding a breeder. All information has been provided by the Kennel Club.
Explore our breeds category page to learn more about different dog breeds and find your perfect companion.